LINK > to current week - Link to current week in schedule


Class Schedule:
MON.-FRI.PERIODS 1st and 2nd

  John Sappington - email address:

PHONE: 707-332-0987 MOBILE / __ CLASSROOM

Syllabus (this document)


Welcome Letter and Guidelines -

Program Outline:


Photography Student and Parent Information

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you ArtQuest Photography. All the ArtQuest teachers are excited about the opportunity to meet each and every one of our unique students. Our goal is to help each student grow as successful individuals in the classroom and beyond. The following packet of information is to explain a little bit about what students might expect from this course and provide some guidelines for success in this award-winning program in general and Photography in particular.

It is required that students and their parent/guardian sign and date the last page of this packet and return it tomorrow, THURSDAY, AUGUST __, 2015

We are looking forward to a great year with the Photography classes.
If parents have questions or concerns, please email me at:
Instructor: John Sappington:

General Information
Photography has been the most powerful visual art medium and form of communication since the 19th century. The purpose of this course is to develop an expressive visual language utilizing the medium of photography and to explore the ways in which photography has impacted our lives. Questions about what photographs do will be explored as well as how we can make photographs that will impact our society. Problems and assignments are structured to develop a personal vision and to build a working knowledge of photographic materials and methods.
The five components of the California Visual Arts Framework (Artistic Perception, Creative Expression, Historical and Cultural Context, Aesthetic Valuing, Connections, Relationships, Applications) are an integral part of the fine arts curriculum. Development of content (message or concept), artistic vision and style, critical thinking, judgment skills and technical skills will all be emphasized. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to meet local fine art and commercial photographers to interact and learn more about photography as a course of study and/or profession.

The course curriculum is designed to make each photography student competent in both the technical and aesthetic aspects of the medium.

Technical aspects include the use of the camera, film, and film processing and printing. An emphasis will be placed on craft and presentation. Students will also develop an understanding of photographic image in terms of light, shape, form, and organization of the 2D plane.
Beyond this, each student will be encouraged to use photography to develop a personal vision and to explore an autobiographical concept in his or her work.

Class attendance is mandatory for individual development and for the valuable contributions that each class member has to give the group. These contributions of opinion, information, and discovery are an essential element for a stimulating studio environment. Tardiness will affect the entire class’s progress, thus affecting the student’s grade.
See Grading Rubric.

The Camera
Make sure your camera is in good working order! You are required to have a 35mm, manual Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera with a 50mm lens. We have a limited number of loaner cameras that may be checked out for a day or two to complete an assignment on condition that an Equipment Contract signed by the student and parent/guardian is on file.

35mm Single lens reflex
Adjustable aperture (f stops)
A selection of shutter speeds
A means of focusing (preferably not automatic focus)
A view finder
A point and shoot camera can be used for some of the assignments if a 35mm single lens reflex is not an option. Encourage your child to borrow a 35mm SLR if possible. This will allow for optimal learning in the course.
Monetary Considerations

It is difficult to fund art classes with the limited supply budget of the school. We would like to reach out to our families and ask for any donations that can be made. Assistance with providing the materials necessary for your student (or additional students) is greatly appreciated. Of course no student will be denied participation in classroom activities due to lack of funds just as no students will receive special treatment or credit for donated items. Scholarships are available upon request!
There is a $______________ Studio Donation recommendation for this class. We are asking for this to be sent in as soon as possible so supplies and materials can be purchased. The donation covers the cost of the darkroom chemistry, sketchbooks, photographic paper and other art supplies.

*Additional expenses include:
Black and white film is $4.00 per roll. (All students should purchase their film through this photo department. This is to alleviate the multitude of mistakes that students make each year by purchasing the wrong film.)
Plastic negative/proof sheets for each roll of film are $.75 each.
Presentation materials $2.00 per print.
Three ring binder 1 ½- 2” thick

Students are required to have the following:
Scissors (small, blunt tip)
Flash Drive
SD Memory Cards
General Assignment Guidelines
Work presented in the class is expected to be current work. All work must be original. You may not use another person’s negatives for any of the photographic shooting assignments. You are required to make and process all your own negatives and prints. Using the services of a commercial lab is not allowed. All course work must be completed to pass the class.

Grading is as follows:
Effort/Participation 20%
Creative Projects 20%
Art History/Criticism 20%
Visual Journal and Binder 20%
Tests and Written Assignments 20%

There will be written assignments required for the course. (Remember these are 20% of your grade and choosing not to do these assignments will greatly impact your grade.) Your instructor will give you specific instructions for each assignment.

Procrastination does not work! If you wait until the last minute to do the assignments you’ll find yourself competing with the other students for access to the darkroom. The assignment deadlines are spaced to allow you plenty of time to take the pictures, develop the film, mess up the roll of film and retake the pictures, develop the film again and then enlarge the prints over and over again until you get the perfect picture or at least one that fulfills the guidelines of the assignment. At least five hours per week of work outside of class time is required. Shooting assignments are given as homework. Students should plan their time accordingly. Students need to allow time for completing their assignments. Having too much homework in other classes or an after-school job does not excuse you from putting your best effort into this class.

Patience goes a long way! We have a limited amount of space and equipment available. In order for you to get the maximum advantage of what is available, be considerate of other working students. Be understanding and help one another when you can.

No personal work may be processed or printed during class time. No exceptions!

Students will be given only one photocopy of any lesson, informational handout, form, etc. No seconds will be given. Students should immediately put all handouts in their binders, then date and number the page. It is the student’s responsibility to replace lost or damaged photocopies on their own time. Students who are absent need to remember to ask for missed work, etc. when they return.

Other Assignments:
In addition to photographic assignments, there will also be Class Critiques, a Term Research Project, Gallery Reviews, Reflective Logs, Sketchbook/Journal entries, a Portfolio Final and textbook assignments. At various points in the year selected student work will be exhibited on site and in the community. Students will be required to have their work ready for display and be willing to organize exhibits.

Student Program Expectancies
At the completion of this course, students will be able to do the following:
Demonstrate how to use a 35mm SLR manual camera; process black and white film, enlarge prints from the negatives and have a basic understanding of SLR cameras, filters and print presentation.
Develop a photographer’s eye by exploring the history of photography through photographers who have made a difference. Students will also explore their own style through a variety of photographic assignments.

Recognize the importance of personal experience and express it in visual terms.
Explore a variety of content issues including current cultural and world events, school, community and personal issues that are meaningful to the student.

Explore alternative photographic processes.
Research and recognize prominent photographers, their artworks, movements and styles from various times and cultures.

Consider how photography has influenced the world and is influenced by society today.
Identify the effects of media on our culture

Consider what role photographers have played in our culture.

Develop critical thinking skills that enable one to describe, analyze, interpret and judge photographic works in writing as well as orally.

Develop an artist statement about their work.

Visit several galleries and conduct a formal gallery review of artworks.
Present and discuss work in a portfolio review.

Keep all photographs and written work, lesson plans and graded rubrics organized and accessible in a binder.

Photography Classroom Rules

No eating, drinking or chewing gum in class.

No CD players, iPods, cell phones or other electronic distractions during class time.

Cell phones must be turned off during class time.

You may not leave classroom without a pass.

No writing on desks or in books. This is “Destruction of School Property” and is a serious offense.
Certain equipment requires prior permission before use. When in doubt-ask.

Return all equipment (including developing tank and components) to their proper place clean (and dry if possible).

Pick up all trash around and in desk. Wash desktops with spray and sponge at the end of each class.

Stack seats at the end of each class.

Knock before entering Darkroom Door .

No more than 3 people at a time through door.

Pass through doorway without any stops.

Do not stop rotation of door from classroom or darkroom.

Do not lean on door walls.


Sign up for an enlarger at the beginning of the period.
Use only the enlarger to which you have been assigned.
No visiting in the darkroom.
Anyone entering darkroom must get prior permission to do so from teacher.
Always use the proper tray when transporting a wet print or test strip.
Fixer stains, so dress accordingly.
Do not play with Eye Wash.
Make every effort to retrieve all test strips and prints before the end of class.
Clean up the enlarger area after use
Put away all equipment.
Wash down baseboard
Return enlarger to a height of 16 inches
Zero out the timer
Empty drawers of all unused test strips.
Clean up trash both around the enlarger and on floor.

This is a great classroom/darkroom and we want it to stay as clean and efficient as it is for many years. Please do your part!


Please mark your calendar for these important dates: Wednesday August 31 : AQDA forms & Lab Contributions are due.
Please contact teacher for scholarship information or extensions. 

Back to School Night DATE TBD - 6:30-9pm

October 6, 6:30 pm: “ArtQuest 23rd Annual Fall Showcase of Programs”, beginning at 6:30 pm in the Auditorium.  This is an evening for prospective students and families, to find out more about the opportunities ArtQuest has to offer, as well as current ArtQuest families to learn more about the program.  Please plan to attend and also help us spread the word. Early application is highly recommended due to limited space. 

Tuesday October 11th to November 10th , “Shadowing”,
ArtQuest offers students interested in the ArtQuest program the opportunity to "Shadow" a specialty for a day. Shadowing is by appointment only. Call (707) 535-4842 for more information and to schedule your student. Monday through Thursday.

ArtQuest Application Deadline for Fall 2017 Entry Priority Deadline is November 14, 2016

Weekly Lecture/Lab Schedule
(subject to change)